The family seat of the Lords of Tyrol hosts the South Tyrolean Cultural History Museum.
One upon a time, Castel Tyrol (Schloss Tirol, in German) was the seat of the Lords of Tyrol whose last member died in 1253 AD. Today, however, it is the symbol of the whole area. The circular wall, constructed around 1100, today is one of the oldest preserved circuar walls all over. The second construction phase under the Lords of Tyrol dates to 1140. Soon the castle became one of the most famous all over Tyrol. Under the rule of Margaret, Countess of Tyrol, the building had its booming years. When she abdicated, the residence of the Lords of Tyrol was transferred to Innsbruck.
Still today, Castel Tyrol is located in majestic position high above Merano on a huge moraine. Remaining are the impressive portals as well as the chapel of the castle. Inside this chapel there are numerous Gothic frescos, the oldest glass paintings of Tyrol as well as a crucifixion larger than life-sized. Above the entrance to the chapel you can see the oldest portrayal of the Tyrolean spread eagle dating back to the 13th century.
There were restoration works in the 20th century and since 2003 the South Tyrolean Cultural History Museum has been hosted inside the ruins. This museum provides an insight into the history of Tyrol down to the present day on 20 different levels. Close the Castel Tyrol there is also a falconry with the “Bird Care Centre Castel Tyrol”, a care unit for raptorial birds. Also the earth pillars of the village of Tirolo are located only a stone’s throw from the castle.